Our NPD strategy allows Pro-Veg to keep finding new outlets and interest for a wide range of speciality crops which our regular customers may like, but do not yet know of. We have developed a unique approach to the R&D processes for finding, testing and proving new lines.

A breeding programme by itself will have little value without the further support of a strong product development programme. Pro-Veg has a policy of always fully evaluating material from a breeder who is new to us, before we will consider promoting it. This approach is essential to ensure quality and reliability of a new line. It also enables Pro-Veg to collect reliable trials data from our customers’ environments and feed it back to the breeder, who can then work on any further improvements we require.

Each year, we select between 400 and 500 new lines of field, glasshouse and flower crops from our database of trials stock for evaluation through our NPD testing programme. We then plant out and trial all new and foreign sourced seed lines under typical UK professional grower conditions and in a variety of cultivation regimes before we will assess them. Those which are not to standard are rejected, but we pass on the results of our data analysis to the breeder, so they know what characteristics must be improved before we will review their material again.

Much of this trials evaluation is done by our team of specialist consultants. In addition, we also send samples for evaluation by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO).